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Letters: Bruins need to change their style

A good season comes to an end against Florida, again.

March 25, 2011
  • UCLA players watch from the bench during the final seconds of the Bruins' 71-65 loss to Florida in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
UCLA players watch from the bench during the final seconds of the Bruins'… (John Raoux / Associated…)

News flash. A Ben Howland-coached team will never beat a Billy Donovan-coached team or any other coach who knows how to use his athletes. The difference is that while premier coaches find the balance between unleashing their athletes and playing controlled, fundamental basketball, Howland recruits blue chip athletes and constrains them in a very staid, conservative system.

It's no wonder that athletic, skilled players who excel in high school explode in the NBA after taking a detour at UCLA.

Jerry Leibowitz

Culver City


While the Bruins may have fallen short of our collective hopes, they succeeded where the three teams that went to the Final Four (and were packed with future NBA stars) didn't: They played a game that we could be proud of.

Saturday afternoon's game against Florida is the reason that I love Ben Howland, whether we win or lose. When fans complain about the team's record, Howland talks about improvement. When they complain about scoring or offense, Howland talks about effort. And when they gripe about losing, Howland talks about learning. Reminds me of another Bruin basketball coach.

Mike Murashige



Early basketball tournament exits don't bother Bruins fans. We're a football school. Oh wait....

Wesley V. Wellman

Santa Monica


In last week's letters, the following quotes were printed about USC's loss in the NCAA tournament: "against crummy Virginia Commonwealth"; "hang a First Four banner"; "tell Coach Kevin O'Neill that his services will no longer be needed."

First, Virginia Commonwealth moved ahead and beat Georgetown and Purdue after USC, and might be playing in a regional final this weekend. Second, Coach O'Neill took over a program two years ago that was on NCAA probation and led them into the tournament. Not many coaches will accept such a position, let alone get the team into postseason play. Coach O'Neill was needed, and his services might still be.

Wayne Muramatsu



All University of Arizona basketball fans should personally thank ex-USC athletic director Mike Garrett for his move in throwing Tim Floyd under the bus. Because of his decision (which was totally unwarranted), Arizona's top three players (including Derrick Williams) were able to back out of their commitment to play for the Trojans and thus lead the Wildcats to a possible Final Four appearance.

Richard Whorton

Valley Village


With their bloated Big East selections, congratulations to the NCAA tournament selection committee for accomplishing what was previously an unthinkable. They made the BCS system look highly effective.

Bruce Kahn



When will college athletic administrators learn to offer contracts to coaches that do not include buy-out policies when coaches are fired for good cause? Bruce Pearl lied to NCAA officials in September after knowingly cheating as to the NCAA rules. Then, just this month, his staff committed more violations. Tennessee will pay him $948,728 worth of salary and benefits as part of his dismissal agreement. Some punishment....almost a million dollars for being a lying cheat.

It is no wonder athletes are caught breaking laws, NCAA rules, and accepting unallowable benefits.

Jane Hilgendorf

Corona del Mar

Flagrant smell

Watching Andrew Bynum flatten Michael Beasley, I would have suspended him for even longer, and for those players that think that their teammate earns "stripes" for this play, I am disappointed in that attitude. Bet if somebody did to Kobe, while driving to the lane, what Bynum did to Beasley, the reaction would be somewhat different.

Barry Levy


Not good

It should come as no surprise that attendance at Camelback Ranch is down over 42% from a year ago. Why head east for a spring training game when you'll be able to see the same no-names all summer long right here in L.A.

I only hope the marketing whizzes come up with things like Frank and Jamie Night (50-50 raffle), Guess How Many Noodles on Lasorda's Plate, and other minor league type promotions off the field, since the Dodgers will look like an AAA team on the field.

Larry Yells

Hermosa Beach


Take heart, all baseball players! Even if you wash out of MLB, wash out of Japan, then finally wash out of South Korea, you can still start for the Dodgers.

Charles Gillespie


Royal pain

After reading Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait's comment that "the good news is that we are continuing to move closer to bringing a professional basketball team to Anaheim," I had to hope he was referring to UCLA's Bruins. Bluntly, the Sacramento Kings currently sport the third worst record in the NBA. At least they can't get much worse. What has thus far escaped media attention is how this move will impact the Ducks. Understandably, there are likely more basketball fans than hockey fans, and the Ducks, despite a competitive team who have also been to the Stanley Cup finals twice in eight years and won once, currently play most nights to at least 4,000 empty seats.

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